A Reader! Edgar fanfic for Missiongenocide's Cursed project.
You carefully adjust the vices on your patient and give a rattling, congested sigh. This woman's whole digestive system is a mess, the upper intestine and stomach are full of persistent ulcers and outright holes, the esophagus is a mass of raw red tissue, and the mouth has yellowed teeth, with all four front incisors reduced to stubs and she has no lips at all. What are you going to do about this, especially when you you saw the little bits of intestine, bone and trash caught in her stomach lining? She had told you earlier that she'd been used as a garbage disposal by the Endgineer...if only you could get your cyst-covered hands on those creeps, you'd take THEM apart with a rusty knife. You give a sigh and quickly have to turn around while you cough until your chest aches. Your own condition is making helping your this Belmia girl difficult at even the best of times.
The blistering agony of being covered in boils and sores, raking into your skin like a thousand tiny clawed creatures, is very distracting, you cough up a lung whenever you breathe too heavily, you have tremors and sometimes ooze pus that you have to then clean up off of your clothes. You've made it your life's mission to learn as much about how this curse changes people as possible, especially after you caught it yourself. You can't help but ruminate about what mass of disease and infection you are, any mortal who would dare come into your office would soon become ill with a host of nonlethal but unpleasant illnesses and come away with an ill opinion of yourself as a result. Some self-surgery has revealed that as bad as your outside is, with more benign tumors and sores than healthy skin, the inside of your body is nearly unrecognizable, with fatty grayish tissue riddled with black patches of infection and brown scar tissue as your unnatural disease tried to destroy you. Thank goodness the cursed body is so resilient, or you would be long dead, and where would Belmia, Natalie and several other people be without your help? Still in even worse shape than they already are. It is unfortunate that as your condition has no analogue outside of the curse's bounds, you cannot help yourself. You slip another painkiller pill into the upper left one of Belmia's vacuum pumps, long and serpentine and covered in matte-grey jointed plating, with a hollow circular front filled with four nasty grinding wheels covered in blunt teeth, this was a machine not to be trifled with, and unfortunately one you would have some difficulty with as you are, after all, a doctor and not a mechanic. But its a part of your patient's body, so you will have to check to make sure its working too before you let your next patient, a young woman in a yellow dress who looks like a zombie, who has been waiting patiently to be seen by you since this morning.
Then, there is a crack. You listen carefully, no that is not your illness attacking the joints in your fingers and giving you false arthritis again, that is coming from outside. An enraged shriek makes you decide to tell your patient, after a few more loud coughs "Please stay here and don't move, I'm just going to investigate that awful racket and come right back."
Belmia nods, a bit groggy from the load of painkillers you found in an old pharmacy and have been giving her throughout the operation, "Yesh, but thish is urgent."
You nod back and run out of the front door of the abandoned clinic you use as an office and home. They place is quite run down, even the door is not quite on right, but you would rather have a dirty appropriate work-space than a clean inappropriate one. And Bel is right, this is quite urgent and you don't enjoy being interrupted in this way, especially as running around out of doors worsens both your cough and your blisters. But you can't have someone throwing a hairy fit outside your office when you are trying to work.
You fully intended to tell off this interloper until you came outside and saw who it was. If the large hole in the ground was not alarming enough, you saw before you a horrific being indeed, like a great inky black worm attached to a particularly damaged doll with the underneath of an octopus, this horror's lone eye fixed on a bloody young man in a dress, who looked to be a Titleless and also like he was in pretty bad shape, "You do what I want you to and stop running away!" The horrible worm-octopus-doll creature screams at him, "You are a very bad toy, screaming and running around like that!" Not only is this horrid creature capable of speech, she is delusional! If only you where also a psychologist, perhaps you could calm down this thing and ask why it is having a berserk fix on your lawn.
You look around to see if perhaps there is anything you could use to get her to stop brutalizing that poor Titleless when you see the zombie-like young lady come out of the front door, "Don't fight her, get inside. She's named Vicky, she's a Vassal, I learned it from a man named Darien who knew her personally from before he was cursed. How he went on about how much her condition has destroyed her! But the man with the glowing stuff coming out of him was a good source if information, I know he was telling the truth from just how worked up he was. So please stay out of this unless you want a broken back on top of all your other problems..."
You've never heard Amy be so eloquent in all the time she has been a regular patient of yours, which has been a while. So clearly this is a matter of some importance, and you follow her advise of heading back inside, away from this irate creature people called Vicky...what an inappropriate name for such a Scylla-like monstrosity. You personally would give her something with three syllables and lots of nasty sounds so people would know to stay away from that...thing.
You get back to work on Belmia and carefully finish up what little fixing of her problems you can do. You still need to get to Amy today, and as you look out and see the sun has passed, you can't help but notice that that Vicky creature was still outside, minus the Titleless, peering at your office with obvious interest, the ropelike structures between the two parts of her body taught. You excuse yourself from Bel as she recovers from surgery and go to ask Amy, "What do you suppose she wants." Amy peers through the dirty cracked front window and watches.
After a few moments, she tells you, "I think she wants to come in."
You nod and head out to talk to her. No one is every going to accuse Edgar Verin of turning away a patient, not even now. Back in the old days, it was easy. As you where considered an expert on this Curse, everyone came to you for advice and your healthy, strong body made you a capable researcher and a your natural care in the lab kept your partners from being infected. You would likely have learned to have created a hospital for cursed, a special facility where you could help them all, even your old aquaintaince Razzil, who you have spotted traveling with a group of others while you where out trying to scavenge some medicine. As much as you tried to prove treatment was a better use of medical knowledge than vaccination, you miss the young man and wish him luck.
Right now, you have a bigger problem. Inexorably, Vicky was moving towards you, and for the first time since your transformation, you felt real fear. As the octopus-like form came close to you, recognition dawned on you. This is the very same cursed that attacked you and infected you while you where getting tissue samples from that house...what is she doing here, is she going to hurt you more? You are not afraid of much, though the one fear you have always had was the reason this horrible creature had found you, cursed you, and you could see she did not know she was doing anything wrong. People where toys to her, or she was acting on orders. Back then, it made you feel sympathy, right now, realizing she was now homeless and angry, it made you even more afraid, more afraid than you have ever been, and she could sense it, coming even closer and gently putting one of those long tentacles around your middle so you could not back away any further.
She grinned at you, "Ohhh...what's your name again? You're the doctor who was afraid of germs!" Amy and Belmia are still in earshot! Did she come just to humiliate you? You try to protest, to yell but all you do is cough like crazy, though this does make Vicky hesitate to come any closer. Vicky gave a small, sly smile, "I want to play doctor at your house." Considering she was quite familiar with Endgineer's methods, this was an alarming proposition! She contained after seeing your face fill with fear, a clearly a bit disappointed, "But Mr.Blisters, I'm homeless. The mansion blew up." So the rumors are true, and once again your pity for this creature clouds your better judgement a moment. But surely, your medical practice would be ruined if you let her stay. You needed to get her to leave somehow...
You smile at her, as best as your cyst-covered face can allow, "I will go inside and try to find a room for you." Go ahead and lie to the kid. But you really could not accept having the very one who made you this way in your life...it would make you even sicker than you already are, simply because you know she'd tell EVERYONE that you became cursed because you are afraid of diseases. You head into your lab and go and get a one of the five samples of Belmia's extra-strong stomach acid you extracted earlier, you can do without one. You are convinced you can use it to destroy your lab waste, hopefully in a way that does not harm Belmia the way Endgineer did. Those ropes, however, where your current priority.
You rush out of the door and come back towards Vicky, the vial tucked in your hand, "I have a room ready for you, please come in." She giggled delightedly and rushed forward, her worm part struggling to keep up with her octopus part but managing it. As she rushes for the door, you act, throwing the vial of stomach acid at one of the ropes. Vicky screams in pain and you immediately feel like an utter heel as the 'rope' is destroyed and goes limp, forcing Vicky to slump on one side, "What is wrong with me?"
Pretending to be cold, you tell Vicky, "You cannot stay with me. Science needs you to not be in my way. I'm sorry, it is really honestly nothing personal." She lets the remaining 'ropes' draw her back into her wormlike part's mouth even as that one BLEEDS black goo, the wormlike body turning around and leaving through the same hole it came. She's gone, and you go inside telling Amy, "Your appointment is up." Belmia had gone into a back room to clean up, the other reason you could not let Vicky stay is that she was temporarily boarding with you.
Amy followed you to the examination table as you slowly take out the tweezers and insecticide and rubbing alcohol. As you start though, you hear Amy's burring voice dig into your headache-filled, tumorous head, "Why did you do that?"
Your feel your eyes get wet as Amy's wintry blue gaze meets yours with cold frigid anger, and let yourself cry...no use hiding it now now, "I...medical science needs me to not have to look after a demanding child in an adult's body....also...she knows my secrets, all of them, what if she tells someone something embarrassing...most of all, maybe...its hard to forgive the person who cursed you."
Only at the last explanation did the zombie-like woman soften, "I did not know she infected you. Its all right, I'd likely feel the same way if I had any idea who infected me. But never do that again."
You look up at Amy as you move to take the maggots out of a decay patch on her knee, on your knees yourself, "I won't." Luckily, Vicky's ropelike structures, like all parts of a cursed body, will heal to their original state in time.